Dan Holtz, CAC assembly tech and occasional fly-off pilot, standing alongside Glasair's Diesel Sportsman

Dan Holtz, CAC assembly tech and occasional fly-off pilot, standing alongside Glasair’s Diesel Sportsman in Arlington

Having to say farewell to a valued employee is the occasional reality of business life. When the person leaves in pursuit of a life mission, it merits us standing back and making mention.

Such is the case with Dan Holtz, who up until the week before last was an assembly tech in Glasair Aviation’s Customer Assembly Center where he was part of the team that guides our Two Weeks to Taxi customers in building their Sportsman aircraft. Dan joined Glasair not quite two years ago.

Now this father of four is busy preparing to move his family to Kenya, Africa, where, if all goes as hoped, he’ll support missionary work, medical missions and disaster relief in East Africa, as both an aircraft mechanic and pilot.

It’s not a move they’re taking lightly. “This isn’t a short-term thing. We’ll be setting up our lives there — for 30, maybe 40 years.”

Dan and his family, from left: Elijah, wife Barbara holding Ezra, Dan holding Hannah, and Rebecca.

Dan and his family, from left: Elijah, wife Barbara holding Ezra, Dan holding Hannah, and Rebecca.

Dan, 28, and family will remain in Washington State until May obtaining passports, sharpening his piloting and mechanic’s skills, and making  “lots of phone calls!” to raise the funds he’ll need to support his family. You see, the position he’s heading toward with African Inland Mission, while life-saving to many, is non-paid.

It’s also not a shoe-in.

“I’ve got one shot to pass a comprehensive flight test and prove my mechanic’s skills.” If he doesn’t make it then he’s not likely to get a second chance.

After May it’s off to Washington, D.C., for more study and that big test. Assuming he passes, he, his wife Barb and the kids should arrive at their base in Nairobi shortly after the first of the year.

We’re told you can keep up with Dan’s progress at his new website gettherebyair.com.

The favorite part of his time at Glasair? “Working with customers and building custom, hand-built airplanes. You can’t do that anywhere else.”